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Mothering and Male Masochism in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Aurora Floyd

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Date Issued:
2006
Summary:
Feminist literary critics often praise Mary Elizabeth Braddon's sensation novels for undermining Victorian gender ideologies, and yet by failing to scrutinize aspects of maternity and female sexuality, they overlook some of her work's most subversive potential. In Aurora Floyd, for instance, Braddon deploys the trope of the missing mother to deconstruct the Victorian maternal ideal of a pure, passive angel in the house. Her text proposes a notion of motherhood, which is more concerned with internal goodness and vitality, rather than with the Victorian era's emphasis on external proprieties and socially constructed notions of femininity. Braddon's Aurora is a motherless girl who develops into a strong, sexually assertive and, thus, unfeminine woman by Victorian standards. In positioning Aurora as the narrative's heroine, Braddon promotes female dominance and male masochism as alternative gender relations to the traditional domestic economy of male mastery and female submission.
Title: Mothering and Male Masochism in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Aurora Floyd.
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Name(s): Gravatt, Denise Hunter
Low, Jennifer A., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2006
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 88 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Feminist literary critics often praise Mary Elizabeth Braddon's sensation novels for undermining Victorian gender ideologies, and yet by failing to scrutinize aspects of maternity and female sexuality, they overlook some of her work's most subversive potential. In Aurora Floyd, for instance, Braddon deploys the trope of the missing mother to deconstruct the Victorian maternal ideal of a pure, passive angel in the house. Her text proposes a notion of motherhood, which is more concerned with internal goodness and vitality, rather than with the Victorian era's emphasis on external proprieties and socially constructed notions of femininity. Braddon's Aurora is a motherless girl who develops into a strong, sexually assertive and, thus, unfeminine woman by Victorian standards. In positioning Aurora as the narrative's heroine, Braddon promotes female dominance and male masochism as alternative gender relations to the traditional domestic economy of male mastery and female submission.
Identifier: FA00000921 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2006.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Subject(s): Braddon, Mary Elizabeth,--1835-1915.--Aurora Floyd.
Women and literature--England--History and criticism.
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth,--1835-1915--Criticism and interpretation.
Masuclinity in literature.
Man-woman relationships in literature.
Postmodernism (Literature)--Great Britain.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00000921
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.